Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
A good patchwork quilt of interviews
on 31 December 2010
There are some fair points made by other reviewers in regards to the second hand stories that Mick has woven throughout the majority of this book, however what you do get is a great insight into a number of bands, and the whole music scene in and around LA between the mid 1980's and early 1990's. This is after all an `unauthorised biography', and therefore there is enough room for the odd things to be a little sketchy.
I agree that a lot of the flippant comments are meant to sound like Mick hung out with these guys all of the time, and not that they were well planned answers in many scheduled interviews. That said, Mick did live in LA and was living and breathing the LA scene. I found the book fascinating as it pulled together facts, stories, rumours and allegations that I had already read about in, `The Dirt - by Motley Crue (Neil Strauss)', `Tommyland by Tommy Lee (Anthony Bozza)', `Slash by Slash (Anthony Bozza)', `The Heroine Diaries by Nikki Sixx', and `Don't Try This At Home by Dave Navarro (Neil Strauss)'. Hearing similar stories from different people's point of view is hugely entertaining (like both sides of the Vince Neil & Axl Rose feud).
The disappointing side was that the details of Axl Rose's life from the late 1990's to 1997 (a time period rarely documented anywhere) is still very sparse predominantly built around the band's erratic live reviews. I remember a great interview back in 1998 with one of the (many) drummers that quit, citing the reason as frustration over having to play over 100 hundred instrumentals before Axl would bother to write any lyrics. However there was no mention of this (presumably because it was in Kerrang! At a time when Mick had left; or that the interview was not done with himself.). Then the book comes to an abrupt ending before `The Chinese Democracy' has been released. I was expecting album review quotes, and sales figures, fan reactions etc, however we never get this far. Presumably this will be added in a re-release in years to come, but this is why the book didn't get the whole five stars.
Mick Wall is a great journalist, and his writing is interesting and amusing. This book gives an insight to everyone's view on Axl without hardly speaking to the man himself. This is about as close as we will ever come to getting a biography, so for that reason alone this is worth getting. Great stuff.